Warning: if you’re squeamish, you might want to avoid this article.
Believe it or not, there are reports of people discovering some shocking unexpected ‘ingredients’ in their sandwiches – dead rodents, live snails, unwrapped condoms and false fingernails.
Chicken, Bacon, Lettuce and Rodent
In 2012, Katie Crabtree of Stockport discovered a dead and sliced rodent in her Tesco chicken, bacon & lettuce sandwich. She had bought the sandwich from a branch in Portwood, Greater Manchester.
Unfortunately, Crabtree had swallowed part of the black object – thinking it was a piece of burnt bacon – before noticing hair and a paw.
Crabtree told the media she was unable to eat packaged sandwiches anymore because of the memory, and suggested changes may need to be made to the food safety procedures to prevent similar incidents in the future.
According to Crabtree, Tesco repeatedly attempted to ignore her complaints to the branch and head office before sending her an apology letter and a £10 voucher. A Tesco spokesperson said that they were investigating the matter with their supplier.
Chicken Tikka and Live Snail
In 2015, Hannah Scott of Stallingborough, Lincolnshire discovered a live snail camping in the chicken tikka & mango chutney sandwich she had bought from a Tesco Extra in Grimsby.
After noticing ‘something hard’ in her mouth, Scott spat it out to discover it was a snail. She initially wondered whether it was dead or alive but then saw it start moving.
Scott was quick to return the sandwich to the Tesco store to complain. Two weeks later, she was offered £25 in compensation.
Speaking to the media, Scott said that she’d not bought a sandwich since the incident and that she might never shop at the store again. Meanwhile, a Tesco spokesperson told the media that they would be investigating with their supplier and would update Scott when the investigation is complete.
Hoisin Duck and Live Snail
On 1 February 2011, Sue Gray of Gateshead bought a hoisin duck wrap at a Tesco Metro store on Bond Street in Leeds. When she started to eat it that evening, she noticed a crunch in her mouth and thought a filling had come loose. She then saw a piece of shell and spat out the wrap to discover a live snail, the size of a £2 coin.
Gray immediately took a photo of her discovery and contacted Tesco customer service. She told the media that Tesco’s responsiveness, however, was ‘dreadful’. It was three days before the store manager responded with an apology and an offer of a refund, which Gray considered ‘not good enough’. Gray suggested that he should have offered her vouchers, considering that she could have become ill.
Gray also admitted to the media that she was unable to eat any sandwiches unless she’s made them herself, and that she had since contacted Leeds Council Environmental Services in a bid to solve the mystery of how the snail got into the wrap.
A spokesperson for Tesco said that they would be investigating with the supplier but they were ‘surprised’ because the product was handmade.
- Sources: SWNS
Ploughman’s with Unwrapped Condom
In 2007, Michelle Lewis of Milton Keynes discovered an unwrapped condom hidden between the lettuce and tomato of her Tesco ploughman’s sandwich. She had bought the sandwich at a Tesco petrol station in Buckingham.
Lewis made the discovery after taking her second bite and feeling ‘something rubbery’ in her mouth. She then noticed the unravelled condom hanging out of the sandwich, covered in Branston pickle but appearing to have not been used.
Speaking to the media, Lewis suggested that a factory worker may have put the condom in the sandwich as an ‘idea of a practical joke’. She also said the incident had put her off buying pre-packed sandwiches for life.
Lewis dealt with the incident by having Environmental Services take away the sandwich and filing a complaint with Tesco. She also contacted her doctor for tests in case the condom was contaminated.
Lewis told the media that Tesco ignored her complaint, a manager telling her there was nothing they could do. A spokesperson for Tesco, however, informed the media that Tesco would be carrying out an investigation with its supplier.
Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and False Fingernail
On 22 January 2012, Katie Sellers discovered a dirty whole acrylic fingernail embedded in the cream cheese of her Tesco Finest smoked salmon & cream cheese sandwich. She had bought the sandwich the previous day from her local store in Truro, Cornwall.
Sellers made the discovery after biting the corner off the second half of her sandwich, feeling ‘something hard and a bit sharp’ between her teeth and pulling out the false nail.
Sellers, a hairdresser, told the media she assumed the false nail fell off the sandwich maker’s finger when she was making it. She also said she doubted she’d ever buy pre-packed sandwiches again.
Sellers dealt with the incident by putting the false nail in a bag and posting it to Tesco. Tesco later confirmed to the media they had begun to investigate the incident.
Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Used Chewing Gum
In 2013, Alex Moughton of Lound, Suffolk found a lump of used chewing gum in a BLT sandwich he bought at a petrol station branch of The Co-operative in Hopton-on-Sea, Norfolk.
Moughton told the media he bit into the sandwich and tasted something minty. He spat it out and – though in disbelief – recognised it as a piece of used chewing gum. He also said that the incident had put off not only him but everyone he knows from buying pre-packed sandwiches.
Moughton dealt with the incident by immediately calling the customer helpline printed on the back of the sandwich pack and sending the sandwich back to be investigated.
A spokesperson for The Co-operative Food said that they immediately made the supplier aware and arranged for the product to be returned in order to identify how the foreign object got into it. The spokesperson also confirmed that an apology had been made to Moughton and that they would keep him informed of progress.
Chicken, Sweetcorn and Rubber Pipe
In 2012, mum Hannah Lacey was lucky to spot a foreign black object in the Tesco chicken & sweetcorn sandwich she’d bought from a store in Brockworth, Gloucestershire – moments before her ten-year-old daughter Chloe was about to tuck in.
Lacey told the media that she initially thought it was a piece of black pepper, but upon closer inspection found it was a four-inch piece of rubber pipe. She pointed out that her daughter could have choked to death and said she wouldn’t be buying Tesco sandwiches again.
Despite being an employee of Tesco herself, Lacey was unhappy with the way Tesco handled the matter. Although she received a refund from the store and a £10 voucher after complaining to head office, she claimed she was not given a proper apology.
- Sources: Gloucester Citizen